The V8 Supercars Championship Series will have the world’s attention like never before this October for the Armor All Gold Coast 600 at the Surfers Paradise street circuit.
Eighteen world-renowned race drivers will suit up alongside regular V8 Supercars drivers and teams to compete in the unique two-driver race.
The race will be called the Armor All Gold Coast 600, while the event as a whole retains the ‘SuperCarnivale’ tag.
Heading the list of international racing stars includes 1997 Formula One world champion Jacques Villeneuve, Indianapolis 500 winners Scott Dixon, Dario Franchitti, multiple world touring car champion Andy Priaulx and Champ Car winner Sebastien Bourdais.
Other drivers of note include former F1 drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen, Mika Salo, Tiago Monteiro and Gianni Morbedelli.
Former Gold Coast street track winners (from past Champ Car/IndyCar races) include Scott Pruett, Ryan Briscoe, Franchitti and Bourdais.
Twelve countries will be represented in the special championship event, with some of Australia’s best international drivers also in the mix. David Brabham, Will Power and Briscoe – all of whom have V8 Supercars racing experience – will drive for Stone Brothers Racing, Ford Performance Racing and Holden Racing Team respectively. Brabham and Briscoe are both expected to compete with their teams at Australia’s other great motor race – the Bathurst 1000.
Also announced on the Gold Coast tonight was a massive three-day music extravaganza featuring some of the world’s biggest acts, a four-year naming rights sponsorship with Armor All, a new ticketing pricing structure which will see tickets drop by an average of 20% and a new family-friendly focus on the event (see separate story).
V8 Supercars Australia Chairman Tony Cochrane said that the Gold Coast race will be “special.”
“When we first announced the concept for the Gold Coast race a few people were a little skeptical, but I think the list we have announced today proves just how special this event is going to be,” said Cochrane.
“This is one of the greatest line-ups of talent we have seen in world motorsport and to have the caliber of these international drivers mixed with our own V8 Supercar stars on the streets of Surfers Paradise is going to be something special.
“When we mix the racing action with the 16 fantastic music acts we have secured for our unique Rock and Race format, we will have something special on the streets of Surfers Paradise in October.”
Englishman Mark Blundell was originally announced as part of the initial line-up a couple of months ago, but increasing commitments with his business 2mb Sports Management has meant his withdrawal.
The international drivers are set to arrive on the Gold Coast on the Sunday before the event and will be involved in a week of activity, including a full-day test at Queensland Raceway on Wednesday, October 20.
The event will include two 300km races on Saturday and Sunday of the event, with the international drivers required to complete a minimum of 30 percent of each of the races.
Below is the list of drivers confirmed for the event.
|Sebastien Bourdais||France||Dick Johnson Racing||#19||Ford|
|David Brabham||Australia||Stone Brothers Racing||#4, #9||Ford|
|Ryan Briscoe||Australia||Toll Holden Racing Team||#2, #22||Holden|
|Scott Dixon||New Zealand||Jack Daniel’s Racing||#7, #15||Holden|
|Dario Franchitti||Scotland||Jim Beam Racing||#17, #18||Ford|
|Heinz-Harald Frentzen||Germany||Wilson Security Racing||#47||Ford|
|Fabrizio Giovanardi||Italy||Britek Motorsport||#21||Holden|
|Patrick Long||USA||Fujitsu Racing/GRM||#33, #34||Holden|
|Alain Menu||Switzerland||Brad Jones Racing||#8, #14||Holden|
|Tiago Monteiro||Portugal||Centaur Racing||#3||Holden|
|Gianni Morbidelli||Italy||Triple F Racing||#12||Ford|
|Yvan Muller||France||Paul Morris Motorsport||#39, #51||Holden|
|Will Power||Australia||Ford Performance Racing||#5, #6||Ford|
|Andy Priaulx||UK||TeamVodafone||#1, #888||Holden|
|Scott Pruett||USA||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||#30||Holden|
|Mika Salo||Finland||Bundaberg Red Racing||#10, #24||Holden|
|Alex Tagliani||Canada||Kelly Racing||#11, #16||Holden|
|Jacques Villeneuve||Canada||The Bottle-O Racing Team||#55||Ford|